Sunday, February 26, 2012

The CSF Riots Anniversary and the enemy within

On February 25,1986 Egypt witnessed a rebellion among the central security forces that terrorized Cairo and Giza and forced Mubarak to order the army to restore security and crack down that CSF revolution in a decision he would not take it except after nearly two decades.

The official story most 1980s and 1990s generations do not know

Officially the story had started on February 25,1986 Tuesday when thousands of CSF conscripts armed stormed out angrily in a complete rage from their camp in Haram area destroying whatever in front of them including the famous Movenpick hotel . Then they set the Haram Police station , Holiday Inn Sphinx , Mena house hotel as well couple of big stores in the famous long street on fire before completely occupying Haram district and blocking the Cairo Alexandria road in a declare sign of mutiny.
It turned out that the night before there was that rumor spread like fire in the camp : Their 3 years service was prolonged for another year and their salaries will be reduced. “Some source say it 2 years”
In the early morning of February 26, 1986 Former/Ousted president Mubarak had declared the emergency status and imposed curfew in the Haram area. He also gave his orders to the army to end the CSF mutiny there by force.Late Field Marshal Abdel Halim Abu Ghazla was the minister of defense then. The army deployed couple of units and for several hours there was fight between those army units and the CSF rebel units ended by the control of the army for couple of hours only.
Tanks in Cairo "1986"
During then with no advance in telecommunication technology and social media , the rumor and the news of what happened in Haram camp reached to the other CSF camps in Cairo and in other governorates on the same day early morning and hell was unleashed.
CSF camps in Shubra, Tora and in Hikestep knew the news or rather heard the rumor as well how the army cracked down the mutiny in Haram camp. At the same time the army received order to disarm all the CSF camps from weapons and the battles and riots started madly around and inside the CSF camps in Shubra , Tora and Hikestep.
Torched mini-bus "1986"
The CSF camps in Qaliubiya governorate , Ismailia governorate, Sohag witnessed mutiny but inside the camps as the conscripts did not have to time to go out as the army besieged these camps. Asuit governorate also witnessed a strong mutiny in its CSF camp , we are speaking about the wild Upper Egypt during the Wild terrorism year. Now it is said that the army did not end the mutiny of Asuit CSF camp but rather the governor of Asuit then notorious police general Zaki Badr who opened the Asuit Nile channel lock drowning allegedly thousands of CSF conscripts.
CSF conscripts surrendering "1986"
Later February 26,1986 Mubarak imposed curfew all over the country. After another 24 hours of terror in Cairo and ugly riots and fights between CSF conscripts and the army , the army won and the mutiny was ended. Minister of interior Ahmed Rushdie then was sacked from his position along bunch of police generals .In March 1986 Mubarak appointed Zaki Badr as the minister of interior. Badr was the most notorious and corrupted minister of interior the country would have seen till Habib El Adly. For over two decades media ignored the whole incident as if it had not taken place in 1986 that young generations did not know that it existed till the year 2011.
Al Ahram front page on February 27,1986

Cherchez the third party

Now up till now officially we do not know who was truly behind that rumor that spread like in fire about CSF prolonged service, the press then blamed it on the political views of the conscripts and those saboteurs  despite they admitted that there was a rumor  !!!!!!!!!! “Most of them did not know how to write or read for God sake, ironically the headlines remind with the headlines of the newspapers in the early days of the revolution as well during the last 3 months in Egypt !! ”
The Ahram newspaper coverage
There had been a strong theory supported by couple of facts : That rumor was intentionally spread in the CSF camps in order to get rid from minister of interior then Ahmed Rushdie by none other than the corrupted police generals for the sake of drug dealers in Cairo.
Rushdie now
Rushdie is the most from popular and honest minister of interior as well from the most uncorrupted minister of interior. When he took charge of the ministry in 1984 the drug trafficking and dealing were flourishing in Cairo , naturally the man declared war on drugs and the dealers along with their corrupted accomplices in the ministry of interior. Rushdie was starting a plan to purge the ministry of interior especially in the counter drugs sector against all the corrupted officers and generals in Cairo after a war with the drug dealers earned him a title "The drugs fighter". They needed to get rid of him and they knew how.
After the departure of Rushdie the drug dealers boldly celebrated that moment by producing a new type of hashish to the market called "Bye Bye Rushdie". It is worth to mention that Rushdie also presented his resignation but of course Mubarak had to be the man to kick him out of his position.
Rushdie had to know that he was facing stronger and evil enemy within the ministry who did not give a damn if the whole country had gone on fire in order to sustain their position in the ministry and to keep the bribes from drug dealers coming to their bank accounts.
The CSF riots incident and what happened to Rushdie were brought to our memory in Egypt earlier after Port Said stadium massacre when tips came from those working inside the MOI that the massacre and what followed it from clashes were another plan by former minister Habib El Adly’s men in the ministry against the current minister Mohamed Ibrahim.
For me the riots are considered a big Egyptian X-file because aside from the undeclared number of victims and those who stood behind the rumors , I do not understand why Mubarak appointed an honest person like Rushdie in the first place.

The language of numbers

According to official numbers 103 were killed in those infamous riots. Of course now some activists especially from the left said that thousands of CSF conscripts were killed by the army while the attempt of the later to restore the order. In August 2011 a human rights lawyer Mohamed Shehata of Egyptian transparency center accused Mubarak of killing 6,000 CSF conscripts and reported him to the public prosecutor. 
Shehata accused Mubarak of drowning not less than 3000 CSF conscripts in Assuit and ordering the Egyptian air forces of bombing the CSF camps thus killing another 3000. “I found that hard to believe then because more people would have remembered that, most people remembered the street battles between the two factions”

The Central security forces , the regime’s small army

The Central security forces historically came to the Egyptian life after the students protests in 1968 as a security riot force. The conscripts or its soldiers are actually the young Egyptians mostly from the countryside in Upper Egypt and Nile Delta who are not that good to serve in the Egyptian army as part of the mandatory military service and thus are referred to CSF. The Central security forces sector officially follows the ministry of interior , its chief is from the minister of interior’s aides.
The treatment of the conscripts during is not the best if it were not the worst if we are going to speak the truth. We are speaking about young men from the Uneducated poorest working classes in Egypt who are not abused by officers but the whole society.
According to latest estimations the number of the conscripts in the CSF before the revolution was bigger than the Egyptian armed forces solider , it is indeed an army inside an army.
I believe we do not need that huge number for CSF or even to fight riots as internationally counter riots forces are not that big or violent , we can learn from other countries. I believe personally that if the army thinks those young men are not that good to join it for a year then the government can make them learn a real profession mandatory and help them to really build their country. “Yes I am romantic dreamer but I am speaking about a man’s power which should not neglected”

Riots or a revolution or an uprising

I do not consider the CSF riots incident as a failed beginning for a revolution but much as a tough live lesson on conspiracy and how those in the backstage do not care for the life or death of any Egyptian. Leftist activists believe that the army ended the beginning of a great popular revolution , well that assumption of course ignores the real reasons behind this mutiny , it was actually planned by corrupted men to get rid from a good man regardless of the expense the country has to pay.
Bad intentions do not lead to good results as we hope except if the divine intervention does not come in time.
Thousands were reportedly killed and other thousands paid huge price for those 72 hours and millions paid even bigger prices as victims for the drug problem in Egypt. All this happened because of corruption and the fear of purging the ministry of interior from the drug dealers’ friends.
Yes the poor conscripts revolted but the rest of the Egyptian people were watching in fear. Already I believe then we were in the first 10 years of Mubarak years which were considered somehow the lest corrupted in his 30 years. Already I can’t avoid the fact that those riots were planned initially to get rid from Rushdie using the poor CSF conscripts or rather the Egyptians as pawns like in chess game !!
We do not read history and if we read it , we do not learn from it except what we want to see only according to our views and not according to the truth.
That video below shows couple of photos from those riots in color , sorry for the terrible cartoons .
Photos from CSF riots

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4 comments:

  1. Thank you for remembering this important event, 25 years ago today!

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  2. Thank you again for a look into the culture and society of Egyptian life. This is truly an educational experience.

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  3. I've heard that conscripts are basically a pool of free labour that are used in private profit-making by Army elite.
    Its possible that at the time, the idea was floated to increase the profit by cutting salaries & extending the period of conscription.
    Look at it this way, is it possible (knowing now how many billions Army fat cats made over the Mubarak years) that they were looking at a way to milk the system for a little more. Knowing the Mubarak system, the answer is definately-yes.
    It seems this is the key. Greed. Their probably was a rumour & it was probably true. 1986 -2011. A hell of a lot of conscripts made a hell of lot of people rich over that period in a poor country.
    Its not necessary to go to such roundabout methods to get rid of one man, however honest he may be.
    I 've found leftists usually right when it comes to problems with the economy. Islamists don't really have a clue. Most right-wingers don't really understand how economies flourish without repeated crashes such as we saw in the US.
    By the way what is the MB plan for the economy? How are they going to boost tourism & encourage people to spend their holidays in Egypt? How are they going to deal with Egyptian dependancy on food imports? Or are they going to rely on Inshaallah and the rich Saudis?
    Iran,Saudi & the Gulf have oil? Free money. Egypt has people more valuable -IMO depending on how society & the economy is ordered. You can't be fatalistic when it comes to whether or not your children have food to eat. Revolutions usually occur when this is in doubt.

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  4. Thank you Zeinobia. Thank you for caring enough to research this and inform us.

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